Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Did It!

RE: my post from yesterday that I was kvetching I didn't want to write the scene I needed to write because I didn't want to get all upset. Well, I didn't cry but boy howdy did I find a twist that NOBODY saw coming! Not even me!

I am very proud of myself because I think it's the perfect PERFECT climactic ending for the first act. Of course this also leaves me in the lurch as to how to start the second act but I think I know how. I think. I'll have to ruminate on it some more. But the first act is done. 17,383 words. TA DA!

I'll be building the fence for the rest of the week, it's supposed to be in the high 80's here, yeah can you believe it, and I'm opening the pool tomorrow so come on by, bathing suits are required, unfortunately I live in a neighborhood rampant with rednecks. I don't need any of my friends getting carried off into the woods.

So don't forget, stop by tomorrow to read the last scene from Act 1 from REMEMBERING YOU. It'll only be up for two days.

Oh, and Roni, from Fiction Groupie is going to post the first 750 words of REMEMBERING YOU and do a critique on it Thursday as well. So swing by there for those of you who missed the opening.

Oh, and Christine Danek from Christine's Journey has reached 100 followers, Yay, so she's having a contest! Go check it out.

Happy Hump Day!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Half a Million

I can't even wrap my mind around such a thing but Moon Rat otherwise known as EDITORIAL ASS has had a half a million, 500,000, hits on her blog. And she's decided to have a contest. The prize is a 20 page crit. But this ends tomorrow night. Go here to find out about it.

Tornado Aftermath

We had a few twisters come through down the other side of town Sunday night. My mother had me on the phone every couple hours to see if I was still watching the news which is why my Monday post was so...short. I watched the news until almost 2am. The meteorologist here is a MA-NI-AC when it comes to twisters. Yes, what she does is important, yes, the information she gives is life-saving, literally, yes, she's very good at her job. But she's too damn gleeful. I swear to Gawd, she was going to pee her pants right there on tv when she said, "It's touched down in Lynwood!" "It's touched down in High Point!" I mean, really, don't be so happy you were right about the stupid wind. People lost their homes, thankfully no one lost their lives, and I heard there was only one broken bone among the 200.

Anyhoo -- I wanted to give a big fat Piedmont Welcome and Thank You to Rebecca, Judith, Hardymum, Terresa, Gina, Amanda, Cynthia, and Meika for joining in my little bit of insanity here. It's going to be 80 degrees this week and the pool will be officially opened on Thursday, so bring your suits, margherita mix and suntan lotion, we're all set. Sarah A. are you ready???

I also want to say Thank You to Nicole at One Significant Moment in Time for the Super Comments Award last week.

Also, Thank You to DL over at Cruising Altitude for the Super Scribbler Award.

And Thank You to Shelley Sly at Stories in the Ordinary for the Supportive Comments Award.

And yes, these came in a batch of three as well and I swore last week I wouldn't post about any new ones, and I didn't, but I do have to say Thank You. (My mother would be aghast if I didn't.) I will pass these on at some point over the next weekend.

As to my writing, gentle readers, well, let's just say it's not progressing as smoothly as I would wish. Small One is out of school this week, I have had a few days of illness, my mother got a puppy so I've been spending time over there trying to train said creature (why she got a dog is beyond me) and quite frankly I just haven't been in the mood to deal with Genna and Tony.

I'm right in the middle of their first big scene, I want it to be perfect and I'm scared it's not going to be. I know, I know, I can hear you all screaming, "Just write the damn thing and shut up about it!" But I can't. I don't think I'm blocked, I think I'm just actually scared. This is a very EMOTIONAL scene. There are a lot of pent up feelings, hers, his, theirs, that have been locked away for ten years. Ten years people. That's a lot of angst! I have to be in the mood to deal with all that. It's draining for me to write something like that. Narrative, fine, dialogue, usually no problem, setting, great, I can write like a fiend. But this, this is going to make me cry, I know it, it has to or it won't be any good. And part of the reason I can't seem to write it is because I'm actually in a pretty good mood. I have been for awhile and I don't want to bring myself down writing it.

So tell me gentle readers, the question for the day is -- Do you "feel" what your characters are going through? Do you have to be in the same emotional frame of mind to write what they're feeling?

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Henry

If I could have married any man from the past it would have been Henry David Thoreau.
I found him in college and have loved him ever since. If my Monster Baby had been a boy his name would have been Henry David. I kid you not.

Here's why I love Henry.

"To do what you feel is right, when the combined judgement of mankind seems against you, when all the world says no, that requires the ultimate in courageous self-confidence."

Which is how I can justify my writing to people who don't think I have any business writing. This has been with me since college, when other people thought my going to college wasn't worth it either. Lots of uphill battles but I got through...and if I can you can. Write on!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday's at the Piedmont Grille

Quick and simple game today gentle readers...

What book would you like to see a movie made out of? Or a remake? (but the book had to come first)

My pick would have to be THE CHARM SCHOOL by Susan Wiggs. A coming of age story about an ugly fat spinster in Boston who forces her way onto a boat headed for Brazil. Set in 1851 it has all the swashbuckling adventure and angst of unrequited love, and new love I absolutely adore. (Almost as much as my dear Jane Austen -- but without quite so much swashbuckling.)

So what is your pick?

Thursday, March 25, 2010


After writing yesterday's post, I re-read it about 700 times and thought about changing it, then I said, no, I'd let you all see just how crazy I really am. I mean, what should really be a simple idea -- just write the damn novel already -- leaves me with pains in my stomach, a massive headache and really no idea of how I'm going to structure this thing. If I "just write" it, I have a story, nothing more. If I structure it, I have building tension and climaxes. If I structure it correctly, I have a story with fantastic building tension, climaxes, a final heart wrenching ending and an agent screaming "Send this to me at once."

Fitzgerald wrote and re-wrote "Gatsby" (I think) 6 times before he let the publisher do his thing. While it was at the publisher's. I wouldn't do that to a publisher but I want to be like F. Scott. I want the damn thing to be PERFECT!!!!

Okay, I won't keep you, here's more of REMEMBERING YOU. And please note this will only be up for 2 days.

******* Disclaimer -- yes there is swearing in this but not as much. I've toned down Genna's potty mouth. Also, there are two or three small bits that I took out because it was on the longish side, and even without it, it is rather long. Sorry. I just wanted you to have the full effect.


Sorry this post has been removed by the author.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back to Serious

Okay the fun and frivolity is over, I'm getting back to the business at hand. Writing. Or actually HOW to write.

I believe I've made a grave mistake thinking how I could turn a 3-act into a 5-act. But I'm not sure. (More on that in a minute.) I'm nearly finished with the first act, I've got 16,856 on my word count which is where I wanted to end up more or less. I've probably got another grand, 1500 to write to sew up the whole Saturday night scene.

Tony and Genna have finally had a chance to sit down and talk in a really flashbacky tortured gut-wrenching scene. I haven't cried yet so I know it's not done. I haven't gotten to the really powerful stuff when he tells her what happened after she left him. When he tells her he's never stopped loving her, longing for her even when he was making love to his wife. ooohhhh yeah.

But now this is where I find myself semi-stuck. It's the end of Act 1. In the outline, the next big event is the 4th of July party at Angie's house. I have 7 days to make that happen,(this is a three week storyline) unfortunately I think I only have enough angst floating around for one act. The climax at the end of Act 2 is Genna and Tony, again, re-evaluating their lives, with and without each other. Act 2 is also where we find the minor plot lines of Angie, Fortuna and Nana Rocco (Hah, you thought I was done with Nana didn't you...oh no, Nana dropped a bombshell on Genna I didn't tell you about that makes Genna REALLY think about what she has, had and could have. oooohhhh yeah.)

Anyway, after the 4th of July party comes Act 3 where Genna and Tony spend the whole act together. It's supposed to really show how confused Genna is, how Tony has changed his whole life since Debbie's death, how they still love each other but Genna isn't over her hurt yet. That's 17,000 words of Genna and Tony. I don't know if I have enough words for that. The whole act would take place in one location and pretty much be all dialogue. Yeah, I'm flagellating between scary and boring.

Then comes Act 4 in which all the other plot lines are tied up and the climax of that is Genna having to make a final decision either way of what she's going to do -- go back to Maryland or stay with Tony. Don't know if I have enough words for that either considering most of the scenes, are the tying up of all the minor plot lines save one. Then the whole of Act 5 is Genna driving to and from Maryland trying to make a decision. Yeah I know...BORING.

My main idea with writing a 5 act was that it seemed at the time it would be easier to write 20,000 words for each act. That seemed a whole lot less daunting than looking at a 100,000 word manuscript. More or less. I can't do math so dividing by 5 = 20K. I've also considered adding more family stuff in, Robby and Lauren for instance, giving more credence to Benny whom you haven't met yet, and maybe even Fat Pauly and Tina. I don't know if adding characters is the way to go. I suppose I could build up Angie and Michael, it is a family saga sort of.

I was also toying with the idea of allowing Tony to have the 4th act, tell his story from his point of view, so we go from 1)genna home 2)minor plots 3)genna & tony 4) tony 5) all plot lines sewn up, final climax, end. Aargh!!!! What have I gotten myself into?

Then again, I could just shut up, write the damn story without chapters or acts and when I hit the end, it's done. When I go through revisions I could just stick the chapters in. You know. Who said writing was easy?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

They Come in Three's

Okay, I promise this is the absolute last one I'm going to take (at least for awhile now). I received the Soulmate Award from Christi over at A Torch in the Tempest.
It's an interesting award and given to people who "get you". So I have to give it to people who "get me."

Rules are simple:
Five Recipients.
Make up something (not too mean) about the people you give the award to.
Link to the people you give it to.
Link back to the original award post here.

Sarah Jayne Smythe at Writing in the Wilderness who really is a very famous British actress trying to stay out of London for fear of bringing up that old scandal.

Nicole Ducleroir at One Significant Moment in Time who has tattoos all over her back she got on her travels around the world.

Lola Sharpe at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword who once headlined the show-stopping song in the Barry Manilow extravaganza in Vegas.

Erin Kunhs at Musings of a Writer Chick Living in Paradise isn't really picking up her grandmother's car in Ohio this week, she's really taking Santa's reindeer over to Yellowknife for their annual summer vacation.

Sarah Ahiers at Falen Formulates Fiction who is the newest owner of the Vlad Dracule Castle in Romania.

The fun in this is to see who really gets you, me, each other, everyone else. I hope you all play. And whoever finds out who I really am and tells me wins. (I can't give you anything for the win except kudos and congrats.)

I also want to say Thank You and Welcome to a whole bunch of new gals who became my friend over the last week. Tamara, Suzette, Christine D., Mia, B.Miller, Tess and Jennifer. I've got a buffet set up in the dining room with coffee and danish, chocolate, (but you'll have to fight Steena for it) and other little munchie things. Have some caffeine, a gnosh, grab a chair, browse around, make a comment. We're all friends here.

And the biggest news of all-- Sarah at Falen Formulates Fiction is having a contest for having 100 followers but it's not just any contest, it's a WRITING contest. How much fun is that? And the prizes are fantabulous awesome so go now and grab your prompt -- oh yes, a prompt -- and write your little fingers off.

Okay I think I'm done now. Have a great day/week and I promise no more award posts.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Awards Abound

Good morning gentle readers. I received another award over the weekend from the lovely Susan Fields. If you haven't met her yet, do so now. The Silver Lining Award, pretty isn't it?. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for these very special honors. I feel I don't deserve them but I'll take them because, well, I want them. I mean, who doesn't want an award besides Lois?

I will pass this award on to (and thank God I don't have to do anything or list anything, I'm running out of things to tell about myself):

Donna Hole at Donna Hole.
Wendy at Musings Down Under.
Christi Goddard at Torch in the Tempest because she got one from me and she already had it.
Karen at Coming Down the Mountain.
Isobael at Magick and Moonlight.
Kelly at Just Write.
and Christine H. at The Writer's Hole.

I also wanted to say that I think I finally caught up with all my "friends" blogs over the weekend so if you're a friend of mine and you don't see my shiny happy face on yours, let me know so I can stick it there.

As to other news, there really isn't much.

The query tally stats haven't changed. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. Both my horoscopes keep saying that the 'business venture' I'm involved in is going to have good news coming my way in a few more weeks. (They also say I'm going to meet a man. Can you hear me laughing from your house? I'll take an agent, thank you very much.)

The progress on the fence is at a stand still as I've hit a wet spot and I have to make a decision on whether to go with wooden posts or metal. I really want wood so it will match all the others. My father has yet to come by and give his opinion.

I haven't been working on REMEMBERING YOU because over the weekend it was 70 degrees and I was out in the yard with the Monster Baby. That's not true, I have been working on it, I've just been using pen and pad. I don't know how many words it is but I've written 5 1/2 pages, both sides, for the lead-in to Saturday night and I've got another 7 pages in a different pad, single side, for the first confrontation between Genna & Tony ON Saturday night. So as soon as I get it typed into Word, you'll be the first to see at least some of it on Thursday when I post my "Something-Something."

That's all I've got for this Monday morning. I don't know if I'll be posting until Thursday, I've got a lot of busy crappy-crap going on this week, and now that I'm so close to the end of Act 1, I really want to finish it. I hope you have an excellent week and I will leave you with this gem, another in my box of goodies from years' past. (I pull them out at random. I love this line and that's why it's in the box.)

"But Cash had been thinking how sad it was there was not even a plant on the windowsill in here. Not one green thing that can sit in the sun and be quiet."

~Barbara Kingsolver PIGS IN HEAVEN

Which is why, I suppose, I have 86 houseplants. Not to mention the gardens outside.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fridays at the Piedmont Grille

Today, gentle readers, is full of fun, frivolity and awards.

First off I'd like to say Welcome and Thank You to all my new "friends". Julie, Lola (who was here but not), Hilary and Kelly. Grab something to drink and eat off the buffet, it's in the dining room, as soon as the pool is up I'm having a party. Don't be shy about commenting, we're all friends.

Second, I'd like to share with you this crazy post I found the other day. It's by a new blogger, Tahereh Mafi and I think it's totally hysterical. Go check out her blog. Really, it's really funny. Go look and come right back.

Third, I've gotten a new award which I will pass on. I received the Prolific
Blogger Award from not only E.Elle at The Writer's Funhouse but Laurel at Laurel's Leaves. I'm honored that two people would think I'm prolific on my blog. Mostly I think I'm just nonsensical, I mean I haven't really shared any of the rules or guidelines on how to write proper english because I usually fly by the seat of my pants. I haven't handed out any secrets to getting an agent that anyone else doesn't know. I don't think of myself as prolific in any way. I'm just me. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the award. I freakin' LOVE it.

There are rules to this award.
1) I have to pass this on to seven others. (I am.)

2) I must link to the blog from which I received it. (I did.)

3) I must link back to this postfrom where it originated. (I did.)

4) And who ever receives this award must visit the above post and sign their name to the Mr. Linky. (I did.) Which is pretty impressive.

Okay, and the awards go to:

Sarah at Falen Formulates Fiction because she shows pictures of the cool stuff she knows how to do and lets me copy her.

Nicole at One Significant Moment in Timebecause her writing is totally awesome and if you haven't read it yet, go now.

Elana at Elana Johnson Authorbecause she's smart and funny, and did I mention she also runs the Query Tracker blog, so she's really smart.

Shelley Sly at Stories in the Ordinary because her stories are far from ordinary.

DL Hammond at Cruising Altitude because #1) he's a boy and I'd like to think I'm an EO Award giver, and #2) he writes some really amazing stuff, and #3) he remembers that toes are important. Go check him out.

Carolina at Caroline's Prints because she is awesome and brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

And last but not least Roxy at A Woman's Write because not only is she funny, articulate, and smart, she has Daniel Craig as her muse.

If you haven't checked out any of these prolific writers do so now. They are fantastic and well worth checking out.

Ryan at The Life of an Aspiring Writer also gave me the Honest Scrap Award because I gave it to him.

I now have to list ten things about me but because I've done this before, I'll list them about my Monster Baby instead.

1) She won the award for Politest Child at school 3 years in a row.

2) She can climb a tree faster than I can say, "Get down from there before you break your neck."

3) She won't sleep in her own bed because she says she'll be lonely without me. (Yeah, and whose fault was that it started in the first place?)

4) She is absolutely the most beautiful child you ever did see.

5) She's smart, sometimes too smart for her own good.

6) She can tell you all the animals in the world, what they eat, where they live, and how they talk, including narwhals. (True, I had to look them up.)

7) She's just turned 5 (December 2) and thinks the whole month is her birthday not just the day. Her birthday is at the beginning and Santa comes at the end and the aunts and uncles send presents in between. Next year, I'm changing it to July.

8) She loves mac and cheese, hot dogs, and chocolate milk and if she could, she'd eat that for every meal including breakfast.

9) She talks nonstop from the time she gets up in the morning until she goes to bed at night. I kid you not. If she's not talking she makes up songs. Some days I want to put in ear plugs.

10) She doesn't whine. Not ever. Oh sure, she may throw a tantrum, but she doesn't whine. (Thank the Good Lord.)

Okay, I'm passing this on to:

Tara at Feel of Something New.
Lola at Sharp Pen Dull Sword.
Steena at Chocolate Reality.
and Christi at A Torch in the Tempest.

And if you have received this award in the past, I apologize for not checking your blog to make sure. But please pass it on, everyone deserves an award.

So, that's my post for today, I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. I'll either be digging post holes or working on my story. I already cleaned the house.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Well, now I know why I don't participate in blogfests. I spend way too much time reading blogs instead of working on REMEMBERING YOU. However, I did find some time and wrote a bunch more stuff, including this. This is the set-up for one of the minor plot lines that will be in the back of Genna's mind throughout the book. oooooohhhhhh I bet you're just dying to find out what it is arent' you? Sorry, can't tell you yet.

Anyway, I also wanted to say that this post will only be up for 2 days. I have gotten extremely paranoid of late and have taken down everything from previous posts from this particular work. So if you wanted to read it from the beginning again, I'm sorry. You can't. I hope you understand and I know most of you do. I want you to see what I'm working on, I want to share what I'm doing with my friends, I want to get the feedback, I just don't want it hanging in the blogosphere for all the world to see forever, you know.

****DISCLAIMER -- Ha! Fooled you, there isn't one this time. Nary a curse word.

And please remember this is a first draft, I'm sure there are tons of ugly in here.

Sorry, this post has been removed by the author.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Natalie Says/Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Over the weekend I was looking for my index cards and ran across a box of things I haven't seen in years. There were little gems in it like this:

"Sit down in the middle of your wild mind. This is all about a loss of control. This is what falling in love is too: a loss of control.

Can you do this? Lose control and let wild mind take over? It is the best way to write. To live too."

Natalie Goldberg Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life

So tell me gentle readers, do you WRITE in the wild mind? Do you LIVE in the wild mind?

****Okay, how stupid am I? Obviously, but I'm not blaming this on me, I'm blaming it on Simon, he held his Love Scene Blogfest on Monday, which pushed my pre-written posts back a day, and today is St. Patty's Day. And even though I didn't participate in the Drunk at First Sight blogfest hosted by Jon Paul, It is still St. Patty's Day and I should have realized that. You can't get any more Irish than Gallagher now can you. (Okay, I won't blame Simon, Simon I'm not blaming you, I'm blaming my own lack of looking at the calendar.)

So, to everyone out there, here's a
It wards off evil, keeps unpleasantness at bay, and will help you write whatever it is that's been blocking you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oh Happy Day! I Have a Title!

Okay I've got some exciting news to talk about. But first I want to get rid of the Query Tally stats -- 16 out -- 8 rejections -- I partial still out. And now with this new excitement I almost don't care about Masquerade anymore. Almost.

I wanted to say for those who were interested, I did end up putting in three fence posts and digging the holes for the other five. Now it's just a matter of getting the other poles and the cement, putting up the fence, moving the little deck, putting the pool out, digging the french drain, finishing the front, side and back gardens, getting dirt for the "big" hole, making the side patio and I'll be done with the yard. Uh huh. Maybe by the end of NEXT summer.

Also I want to say Welcome and Thank You to Andrew (Yay another boy), Michele, Susan, Sarah, Livia and Natalie, Tiffany, VR and Portia for joining my crazy little slice of heaven. Wow, that's almost a party. For those of you who are interested I have a little buffet set-up in the dining room so feel free to browse, grab a coffee, a danish, comment, debate. We're a lively little group here. Welcome.

Okay, I can't wait anymore, here's my news, after spending a very muddy hole digging Saturday morning, after lunch I sat down at the kitchen table and wrote out the outline to my whole book, the new one. Genna & Tony -- I have a title -- REMEMBERING YOU . Doesn't that sound like a women's fiction-y romantic literary title?

Anyway, I sat with pen and paper, I couldn't find my colored post-it's or my index cards so I used a scrap pad from Sea World to break up my scenes, acts, plot lines, and flashbacks. I also wrote out all the scenes I still have yet to write (A LOT)
BUT I also figured out that I'm not going to do chapters, I'm going to do acts, five in all, I have them with titles, 20,000 words, more or less, in each act. How smaht am I? Broke it down and organized.

(Not really, I stole all my ideas off Mr. Bailey of the Literary Lab and Sarah from Falen Formulates Fiction. If they hadn't posted actual pictures of what they do and how they do it, I would still be swimming in a sea of lost.)

I have all the plot lines, 1 main between Genna & Tony, with 4 others -- 2 major -- 2 minor. I wrote out all the settings (4), notes on the filler, a short character sketch, and came up with a killer ending. Holy Crap Batman, I was on FIRE!!!!

But it's done. I know exactly what I want to do, how I'm going to get from scene to scene, how many scenes are in each act, oh my God you should see my notes, they are beautiful!!!! I cannot be any more satisfied if I had finished putting the whole fence up!!! I wish I could write them all out and post them here for you to see but, you know, I'm paranoid.

I even came up with a new beginning and fleshed out more of what happened between Genna & Tony the night they first met when she was 14, the same night they first kissed and couldn't be found when the call came her parents were in an accident. (I posted some of it yesterday for the blogfest.)

12K so far in the bucket. I'm trying to write a scene a day while the baby's in play school (3 hours). I can't do word counts any more. I get so discouraged if I think I haven't made my 1,000 or even 500. If I know I only have a scene to write, it makes me write faster, so I can get it finished before I have to pick up the baby. Because once she gets home you KNOW I'm not writing.

So there we are, bright and early Monday morning (as this post was written for Monday but I had to do Simon's challenge and it's now Tuesday) and I am still smiling (Yes, even on Tuesday) from my unbelievable Saturday afternoon. It's almost like finding a new boyfriend. I'm all glowy. LOL

Anyway, I hope you had a good weekend. I hope you all had breakthroughs or smacks upside the head, or just a really good writing session. I'm going to infect you all with my good cheer even if it kills me. Now I'm off to write.

Have a lovely day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Simon's Love Scene/Blogfest

Today's regularly scheduled post is being pre-empted for something unusual. I am participating in Simon Larter's Love Scene/Blogfest. I believe there was a throw down of sorts on a Tweet one night and Simon came up short. Now, the rules are simple, a love scene that's PG but also MG. Which I'm going to pretend I'm stupid and don't know what MG means. After reading a few blogs this morning I'm also stupid and don't know what a love scene is either. Do kids in Middle Grade really have sex, or think about sex, or want sex? I must be REALLY old now. Okay here goes...


Due to the paranoia of the author, this excerpt has been removed. Sorry.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Writing a Garden

After the very somber mood of yesterday's post I didn't feel like writing today but I have something to share with you.

One of my daughter's little pals came over for a play date yesterday and the Mommy and I are pretty good friends. She's not a writer but likes to read. I told her about the new story and described it to her, then I told her what I wanted to do to it. Either write it as a straight up romance or take it to the next level and make it women's fiction. The story I refer to as "Genna & Tony" -- Then I told her HOW I was going to do that.

I explained the difference between panster and outliner, then I explained the three act as opposed to the five act story arc, how many scenes per act, how many pages per scene, and what happens at the end between the climax and the denoument. And how, one would ultimately get to the end. She was fascinated and totally blown away that writing a book isn't about just sitting at a typewriter and banging the keyboard all day. I told her what most writers go through, how we have to query, then wait, then query some more, pray to the gods we get an agent, then pray some more we get picked up by a publisher and then, even with the money, how it's not all Danielle Steele and Dan Brown.

She said to me, "So you'll never be rich." And I said "No, of course not." And she said, "Then what are you doing it for?" and I said, "Because I have to. It's in my soul. Like some people paint, or write poetry, I have to write. If I didn't, I'd go nuts." She thought I was nuts that I would waste all this time working on something that might never get published, never make money is what she really meant. I then explained to her that writing, to me, was like growing a garden. You til the soil, you put your compost in, til it again, sow your rows, plant your seeds, water and sunshine and hope for the best. Last year I had lettuce and onions but no tomatoes and no watermelon. The soil composition was wrong for those two plants, so this year I have to try something different.

Last year I wrote and queried Masquerade this year I'm writing/finishing Genna & Tony (God help me I have got to find a title for that story). Hopefully I'll be finished by the end of May and then I can edit over the summer, query by the fall. As I was talking to Lulu (my friend) and telling her about the book, more of the story began to emerge and I now have the beginning of Genna & Tony, I also found the glich, I also found her guilt (And when I tell you what it is you will say I am the MOST BRILLIANT WRITER IN THE WORLD) but I can't tell you now, because it's still in my head and I have to get it on paper. I've also found a few more little plots, Robby and Lauren, the cancer scare and I think Fortuna may have the beginning of Alheimer's, I'm not sure yet. It might just be that vitamin deficiency thing.

Can you tell I am excited about this? I really am. Sarah over at Falen Formulates Fiction had this totally cool scene thingy posted on her blog the other day with all different colored post it notes and I just thought that was way cool and I think I'm going to use that with this book. There are so many places this could go, but I like what I've got so far. Now I just have to write it. (And I'm sorry for not linking but it was Thursday's post there's a picture of it.)

So my dearest friends, this weekend I am playing with pen and paper and getting the outline done. I've also some conversations in the pad in the car that need to come to Word, and I've got to really really really get all those new scenes down before I forget them.

I've also got to try and get the fence posts in, 8 in all, and I'm really not into digging 2 feet deep times 8, but I really have no choice. I promised my dogs last summer that they would have free reign over the back yard. I'm such a bad Mommy.

Have a great weekend everyone, and if I don't see you, you'll know that I'm working on something.

Friday, March 12, 2010

In Honor Of Sgt. Howard J. Plouff

I try to keep my personal life out of the blog. I mean, you know about my hysteria and depression when it comes to querying, you know that my Small One turns into a Monster Baby at the drop of a hat, but you wouldn't know about this, and I wasn't going to tell you about this, but I didn't sleep last night, thinking you need to hear about this.

My cousin, Sgt. Howard Plouff was a cop in Winston-Salem North Carolina for almost 18years. He was a good man, a true friend, a loving husband, a fantastic father. He was one of those guys that everyone loved. He was always in a good mood, always ready to tell a joke, always ready to play a little hoop. He was funny and light hearted, mischievous and hard working. Howard was a true gentleman.

In February of 2007, Howard responded to a call, gunshots fired, riot ensuing at a nightclub on the outskirts of Winston. 400 people were in the middle of a melee when Howard and his partner pulled into the parking lot. People were everywhere, chairs and tables were flying, women were screaming, there was blood, lots of blood.

Someone pulled out a gun and began firing. Then another. Then another. Howard was hit in the face and went down in the parking lot before he even had a chance to look around. His partner called for the ambulance and it raced 100 miles an hour down the highway to the hospital. He died at 4:30 that morning after the doctors tried everything they could to save him.

His funeral was held in his family's church. I wasn't living here at the time and flew down with my brothers for it. There were over 3,000 police officers attending. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I have never been so touched by the people that showed up. Everybody knew Howard. Everybody loved Howard. His wife and daughters were devastated yet held up under the weight of the responsibility of burying their husband and father. I don't know how they did it, I could never have done what she did. (Joyce, his wife spoke to almost 10,000 people at the wake.

The police found the man who fired the bullet that killed Howard. I don't know how they did it, but the detectives matched the bullet to a gun, and matched the gun to a man. A young man, 22 years old, studying at one of the colleges. He's been in jail since March of 2007.

The trial started last week. Joyce and Howard's mother, my aunt, sat in the courtroom watched the jury picked, listened to the testimony from the police and the witnesses. They both left the courtroom when the coroner was put on the stand. I don't blame them. The young man who killed my cousin, whether by accident or design, didn't take the stand. He presented no witnesses. Yesterday, the jury returned a verdict of 2nd degree murder. Today the judge will give his sentence. We all know that boy will sit in jail for most of his life, if not the rest of it.

It doesn't matter. After three long years, this devastating event that shattered a family is finally coming to a close. The man who killed my cousin is finally going to see what his actions of that night brought him. Justice will be served. Unfortunately that isn't justice. Howard isn't here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


This is the last thing I wrote before I went on hiatus. This is why I went crazy and decided I wanted to try something a little more literary than just a straight up romance. This is why I can't seem to get my head on straight and am just lazing around doing nothing these last 2 weeks (well, except for blogging which I swore I wasn't going to do.)

Disclaimer -- Rated R for mature -- strong language and adult themes.

***** Sorry, for those of you who hadn't read it yet, I took it down. Several reasons why and I do apologize. Perhaps you'll read it in its next form.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I just finished reading Peter Mayle's A Good Year. For those of you who don't know his writing, most of it is set in Provence and is smattered with French words and phrases, has a lot of food and a lot of wine. Makes we want to go there, like right now.

Anyway, a movie was made out of this book and it's one of my absolute favorite, favorite, favorites. It stars Russell Crowe, Marion Cotillard and Tom Hollander. I've seen it (have it on DVD) at least 100 times. (Told you I loved this movie.)

Here's the thing, because I liked the movie so much I decided to read the book to see if there was anything in the movie I missed, some backstory, or maybe another plot twist. What a big fat freaking surprise when I finished it last night.

The book is nothing like the movie. Or should I say, the movie is nothing like the book. NOTHING. The main characters are shown in a completely different light. The plot in the movie is nothing like the plot in the book, not even remotely, the setting is different, the secondary characters are different, even the damn dog's name is different. I wanted to scream, "Who wrote the screenplay?"

Now I understand that a director/producer/screenplay writer will take a certain "creative license" with the material, but to completely change the whole story, well, wow, that kind of blows my mind. I think the only thing that stayed the same was the title. Don't get me wrong, like I said, I LOVE the movie. I also loved the book.

It got me thinking though, what would have happened to Gone With the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harry Potter, if the "creative license" was given free reign.

My question to you gentle readers is this -- If you are so fortunate as to have someone ask you if they could make a movie from your book, would you allow them to do whatever they wanted with it, or would you insist on having creative control?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's a Dog's Life

I've been reading some whacked out stuff lately, I won't bore you with details, however this has led me to a question for you all...

What kind of a dog are you?

Not the kind you want, or the kind you want to be, or the kind you THINK you are, but the true dog that you are.

Myself, I would have to say I'm a cross between a German Shephard and a Labrador Retriever. My shephard instincts make me loyal and true, a boon companion, yet champion guard dog, I take my responibilities very seriously and disregard people who don't. My Lab instincts make me fat and lazy, with attempts at humor and playfulness. I love the water and all things associated with it.

Now, sometimes in my strange little universe, I can see poodles (those women who are certainly high maintenence with squeaky voices) or bulldogs with their pushed in noses (generally where men are concerned, their flabby jaws and unkempt air) or even those small Jack dogs (mostly children, over excited and yapping at everything and nothing).

So tell me, what kind of dog are you?

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Long Weekend

Good Monday morning. The sun is shining and it's supposed to be warm. Finally, spring has arrived in the Piedmont. At least I hope so, there shouldn't be any more snow. I hope it is nice where you are.

Well, I'm not going to lie, I haven't written a word since last week. After I had my little fit of depression, I wrote last Friday's blog post and that was pretty much it. I've been thinking. I do that a lot. Some people would call it procrastination. I do that too. I'm also in a physical sort of blue funky haze. I have had to make doctor appointments (I have several physical boo-boo's that seem to have been exacerbated by the cold weather, the stress of my real life as opposed to my writing life, and my own stupidity -- I have to remember I cannot pick up a 40# bag of dog food or shovel snow anymore.) So being in a less than perfect physical state has screwed with my perfect mental state. lol. You know how it is when you don't feel good, you don't want to do anything. so.

Okay, Query Tally Stats -- 16 out -- 3 partials requested, 2 rejected. Also received another form rejection on a query so that makes 7 total rejections. I have 8 still out and one partial still out. Now that I have more than half of them back it's time to send out the next batch. UGH!! I don't even think I have 8 agents left to e-query on my list. I have about 20 for snail mail, but man that gets expensive. But if that's what I have to do...

I also wanted to say Welcome and Thank You to Amy, Donna, Talli and Laurel. Thanks for hanging out. You've made it just in time, not only do you get to hang at the buffet, I'll be putting the pool in soon so you can swim with the rest of us this summer.

I don't think I'll be back until Friday, a lot going on this week. But I'm keeping my eye on you all.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fridays at the Piedmont Grille

On the menu today is a little bit of relaxation, a little bit of work, and a side order of "Gee, I'm so glad all the chocolate is gone."

It's been an awful week but I'm so glad I've had all you to comment that it will only get better. I've broken away from the depression and realized that I was, unfortunately putting all my eggs into one basket, something I really shouldn't do. For those of you who haven't queried yet, it's like going into labor, there's a lot of pain and anxiety and you don't really know what's going to happen. (For men, I'll use going to the dentist for a tooth extraction knowing you can't have novacaine.)

I've done a lot of soul searching, looking for reasons why I should continue writing. Yes, gentle readers, I am THAT sensitive. I take everything personally and everything to heart. It's my major fault. I knew I would never give it up, I just really wondered if publication was worth it. And yes, it is. I just finished reading The Great Gatsby last night and figured that I might never be as profound at Fitzgerald or Hem or Cather but I still have something to say. I want to say it loud and proud and have at least one other person say, "Wow, that's fantastic!"

I've also found that I do want to be literary, as in writing either women's fiction or a literary something. I know romances are full of fluff and snuggle but I think I've decided I want my words to say a little bit more. I haven't a clue yet as to what the MORE is, I just know it's in there. I have a few ideas I've had rattling around for years and I've worked some on paper but I'm not sure what I want to do with them yet. They're very deep and profound and I keep saying I'm not ready to write them yet but they keep pushing at me to get out. So maybe.

I also want to say Thank you and Welcome to Isobael, Karen G., D.L., and E.Elle for joining in my little slice of pie. It's great to have you here, the buffet is in the dining room, so munch, browse, feel free to comment.

I've been working steadily on the contemporary romance because that's one of the things that's been turning me into a literary turnip. I started writing yesterday and Genna's cousin Angie really shocked me with something she said, (I had no idea!) and so Genna's response was also not what I expected and, well, it's looking more like women's fiction than a straight forward romance. It's interesting to see where the characters are taking me. I used to think it was all fun and games but there's a lot more to life than just 'getting the guy'. Perhaps next week I'll post a little something-something from that (Man, I have got to find a title for that book) and see if you think it's literary enough.

I'm still going to take this time off, maybe another week, maybe two, I'm not sure, but know I've been keeping my eye on you. I read my blogs every night and sometimes I comment, most times I don't, but I do read you all. Each and every one.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Good Morning Gentle Readers, I hope where ever you are, it's a beautiful day. I have two contests to tell you about:

Nicole at One Significant Moment in Time is having a contest for reaching 100 friends/followers. She has great prizes so go see what's it all about.

And the lovely Sarah Jayne is having a contest for reaching 50, (well, actually she has 55 now) at Writing in the Wilderness, so go check that one out too...

As most of you know, I mentioned I will be going on hiatus for a little while, I want to really take another look at the MS. that is currently out on submission. And it's a good thing too. Another of the partials came back rejected. They said the "writing was fine" however the premise was "not unique enough to compete in the market."

To say I am not completely devastated would be an understatement for I thought for sure this agency would have asked for a full. I will be drowning myself in chocolate for the next few days, and then, once I've cleaned up all the tissues, I will come out swinging for the fences. Hey, baseball season is right around the corner -- Go Red Sox.

I may not be posting but I will be keeping up with all my lovely friends and cheering you on from the cheap seats. For those of you with queries out, go you! For all the rest, keep on writing. And make it good!! I'll talk to you soon.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Madness

Good Monday Morning to everyone. Happy March.

Some quick business first. Query Tally Stats have remained the same: 16 out, 3 partials requested, 1 rejected, plus four other rejections = 5 total rejections. 11 Queries still out. There is hope.

As I was blogging around this weekend trying to catch up on all the wonderful writing I marked for reviewing, I found several interesting things.

Chuck Sambuchino at Guide to Literary Agents is having another of those agent contests on his blog for Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. It's a fabulous opportunity to get your work before an agent. Prizes are amazing. Go Go Go check it out!!!!

Sarah Jayne at Writing in the Wilderness is having a contest for reaching 50 followers. Go check it out. Prize is a $20- gift card.

J.Koyanagi had a splendid post for name recognition, (as well as blogs or web-sites). She has given herself a crescent moon over her name as a logo, which is beautiful. I wish I'd thought of it first, but alas, I didn't. I don't know what, if anything I could put over my name for recognition as I write romance. I don't think a heart would do at all. Perhaps my family crest. Seems a bit silly. I'll have to think on it. For those of you who write fantasy or sci-fi, this might be a little easier, no? Question #1) If you wanted a logo, what would it be?

Elle Strauss at Elle Strauss Books is going to do a March Madness writing accountability fest. Kind of like a NANO but not. It's all about the accountability that you say you have for your writing -- finish a WIP, start a new one, 1000 words a day, whatever you want to be held accountable for. I think it's great and would love to do it, however I know I wouldn't be able to. My life is already madness and I don't write the way normal people do. But did I mention prizes, yes, yes there are, so go check it out.

Carolina Valdez-Miller at Carol-in-Printhas also mentioned she will be going on hiatus to finish up some edits before she sets out to query. I think gentle readers, that I will be doing the same soon. Masquerade has been sitting for quite some time. The first three chapters have been polished until they shine, and although the book is good enough to be accepted as a full, I have been worrying that it's not good enough to be published. Maybe it's my imagination or the fact I've been reading so many other great writers out there but I want it to be the best. Question #2) After you get to the end of the revisions, do you think your book is done? Is it good enough? Or do you go crazy trying to make it great?

Thanks again for all the great movie suggestions. I've forgotten about many of them (we don't have tv) so when I go to the cheap movie store, I'll stock up.

I'm also on the hunt for a book for Caroline at Carolinebyline. The Black Whippet by S. Sutton-Vane c1957. Right now it's going for between $30- and $125- on book sights. Which I can't believe, but it is an oldie but goodie. When you are cruising your used bookstores if you wouldn't mind taking a look for it. I got mine for $2- at a book fair. Let me know if you find it for really cheap and we can work out the details to get it to her. Thanks.

I also wanted to say that the little Something-Something I posted last week about the funeral has gotten into my head and won't leave. I've written another 3,000 words for it over the weekend with still more to come. I don't know what it means, it wasn't even anything I planned, but Kate won't leave me alone. Question #3) Do you find when you write a piece of, (I suppose for this post we could call it flash fiction) flash fiction that there is more to it than what it really is? Do you ever want to persue it as far as it will go? Does it drive you to the brink of frustration because you know you should be working on the "something else" that you're supposd to be working on?

I've also written another 3,000 words for Richard and Amanda's story. I think I've over written here and it will probably come out in the final revision but I won't be able to see it fully until the book is finished. I'm following my story arc but, well, I don't know. I think I might have to play around with chapter placements or something for the final draft -- you know, chap. 1 = Richard & Amanda, chaps. 2-7 Richard's story, chaps. 7-12 Amanda's story, chaps. 12-19 Ricahrd & Amanda, then the epilogue. I don't know though. We'll see. It wasn't how I envisioned the book but it might serve the purpose. Question #4) Do you ever do something to your book that was never in the way you originally saw it?

I also did another 2,000 words on the contemporary romance Genna & Tony which some of you may remember. (I really need to find titles for these.) I've also begun playing around with the query for this, well, because I can. I waited too long to write the query for Masquerade. Now I know how to write one, I think it might be easier to do it while the work is still in progress. Question #5) Do you ever do this? Write the query or synopsis before the book is even finished?

Okay gentle readers, I think I've said enough. Have a lovely day.